Best Time to Visit Kruger National Park

Giraffen zum Sonnenaufgang im Krueger Nationalpark (seashwill / Pixabay)  Public Domain 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources'
On this page, you will find information about the climate and the best time to visit Kruger National Park. We created climate tables and charts for the location of Skukuza. These contain details about temperatures, precipitation and more.

Furthermore, we analyzed all climate data and provide a recommendation about which months are best to visit Kruger National Park for your holiday.

Climate Overview

Thermometer Symbol 8 °C to 34 °C
Rainy Cloud Symbol 0.313.78 in (1 – 8 Days of Rain)
Show temperatures in degree

General & Geography

The Kruger National Park in South Africa is the best known and largest game reserve in the country. The area of around 12400 square miles runs through the Limpopo and Mpumalanga regions, bordering Mozambique along the entire eastern side.

The extension from the southernmost to the northernmost point of the Kruger National Park is about 220 miles as the crow flies. Former President Paul Kruger originally founded the park under the name “Sabie Game Reserve” in 1898. 28 years later the reserve was designated a national park in honour of Kruger.

Today, the Kruger National Park is home to over 500 bird species, more than 140 mammal species and a wide variety of reptiles, fish and amphibians.

Adjoining private protected areas such as Sabi Sand, Timbavati, Balule or Klaserie are included in the overall area of Kruger Park under the term Greater Kruger Area. Meanwhile the fences were removed extensively, also to the neighbouring country Mozambique (Limpopo National Park), in order to allow free animal movements.

The Kruger National Park can either be reached by car from Johannesburg (about 5 hours drive) or, depending on the desired route, via Skukuza, Nelspruit and Hoedspruit airports. Several luxury lodges have their own airstrips, which can be controlled by bush pilots.

Climate in Kruger National Park

Rhino Hitchhiker (Scott Taylor)  [flickr.com]  CC BY-ND 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources' The climate in the region around the Kruger National Park is mainly tropical. Basically, the seasons in the southern hemisphere are exactly opposite to our conditions in Europe, but even in the African winter the Kruger National Park reaches pleasantly warm temperatures especially during the day.

In general it can be said that the climate in the Kruger National Park between mid-October and the beginning of March (summer in South Africa) can become very hot and also show increased rainfall. The wettest months are December, January and February. During this time, the highest average temperatures in the region are also measured.

The South African winter brings a long dry season in Kruger National Park. Especially in June, July and August, rain is an absolute exception. At night the temperatures cool down to about 7 °C to 9 °C at this time of the journey.

Most years in the Kruger National Park remain frost-free even in winter, during the day temperatures of 26 °C to 28 °C are the rule anyway. Statistically speaking, the first rain usually starts in October, although in recent years there have been repeated postponements and longer periods of drought.

Best Time to Visit Kruger National Park: Overview

JanuaryJan
Very hot
Rainy Season,
animals distributed
Rainy Season
animals distributed
FebruaryFeb
Very hot
Rainy Season,
animals distributed
Rainy Season
animals distributed
MarchMar
quite hot
End of
Rainy Season (shoulder season)
End of Rainy Season
AprilApr
Good weather
Dense vegetation, Limitations at wildlife observationDense Vegetation
MayMay
Good weather
Dense vegetation, Limitations at wildlife observationDense Vegetation
JuneJun
Best time to traveltime
Perfect conditions
for Safari
Perf. for Safari
JulyJul
Best time to traveltime
Perfect conditions
for Safari
Perf. for Safari
AugustAug
Best time to traveltime
Perfect conditions
for Safari
Perf. for Safari
SeptemberSep
Best time to traveltime
Perfect conditions
for Safari
Perf. for Safari
OctoberOct
Best time to traveltime
Final stage of Dry SeasonEnd of Dry Season
NovemberNov
Beginning of Rainy SeasonBeg. Rainy Season
Vegetation getting higher densityDense Vegetation
DecemberDec
Very hot
Rainy SeasonRainy Season

When is the best time to travel for Kruger Park Safaris?


We can safely call Kruger National Park a year-round destination, as every season in the park has its own special charm and excellent wildlife observation is possible even during the rainy season. In addition, many animals then have offspring and the landscape is extremely attractive.

Nevertheless, it is true that during the dry season in winter the animals often gather at the few remaining water points. In addition, the lack of vegetation also increases the general probability of animal sightings, as the now rather barren landscape allows a much deeper view.

The rainy season also brings with it an increased risk of malaria. The best time for safaris in Kruger National Park is therefore May to October. Nevertheless, the transition months, especially March and April and, with some exceptions, November, are also well suited months for travel.

Climate Chart Kruger National Park

Skukuza

Climate Chart Skukuza
Show temperatures in degree

Source of Data: German Weather Service (Offenbach) and Wikipedia

Climate Table Kruger National Park

In the following, you will find the climate table for Kruger National Park, containing information about Temperatures, Precipitation, and Hours of Sunshine.

Temperatures, Precipitation, Sunshine in Skukuza (Kruger National Park)

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Day Temperature34°34°32°30°29°27°26°28°29°31°32°32°
Night Temperature23°22°20°17°12°11°14°17°19°22°
Precipitation (inch)3.783.72.561.460.590.430.390.311.061.542.523.66
Rainy days877532113678
Hours of Sunshine888788998777
Show temperatures in degree
Temperatures
The annual average temperature in Skukuza is 23 °C.

For comparison: London 11 °C, NYC 12 °C, LA 17.9 °C

Warmest month: January (28.3 °C)
Coldest month: July (17 °C)

Precipitation
Overall annual precipitation: 22.01 inch on 58 rainy days

For comparison: London 24.06 in, NYC 41.57 in, LA 12.01 in

There is no rainy season (months with more than 6.9 in of precipitation).

You cannot expect snow in any month in Skukuza.

Sunshine
As our climate table shows, July is the sunniest month with an average of 8.5 hours of sunshine per day. Over the year, there are 7.7 hours of sunshine per day on average. For comparison: London has 4.1, NYC has 7 and LA has 8.9 hours of sunshine per day on average.

Self-drive or guided safari?


If you are new to safari, we recommend that you use an experienced guide for your first visit to Kruger National Park. Thus one can dedicate oneself completely to the beautiful landscape, admiring and photographing the many animals. In addition, one learns many interesting details about the varied flora and fauna.

All surrounding lodges and hotels, even outside Kruger National Park, work with safari providers and can usually organise half-day or full-day tours in open SUVs at very short notice. But also self-drivers usually get their money’s worth in Kruger Park.

There are a few important basic rules to be observed, especially speed limits and the correct behaviour in direct contact with big game. An all-wheel drive vehicle is not necessary, but a rental car with a raised seating position (e.g. SUV) is highly recommended.

The probability of particularly spectacular animal sightings is increased above all in one of the private concessions or private reserves. Here the guides are also allowed to drive off the official trails, furthermore one does not share an animal sighting with a multitude of other vehicles.

More information about the best things to do: South Africa

Popular Activities

Current Weather and Forecast

Current Weather in Skukuza (Station Sabierivier)
moderate rain     moderate rain, 20.6 °C
Clouds: 90 %       Wind: 4 mph WSW
Air Pressure: 1012 hPa       Humidity: 100 %
Last updated: 19th Jan 2020, 05:52 am
The next days …
19th Jan 202020th Jan 202021st Jan 202022nd Jan 202023rd Jan 202024th Jan 2020
light rain20 °C to 28 °Clight rain18 °C to 24 °Cfew clouds18 °C to 27 °Covercast clouds20 °C to 28 °Cmoderate rain20 °C to 31 °Cmoderate rain20 °C to 29 °C
20 °C to 28 °C18 °C to 24 °C18 °C to 27 °C20 °C to 28 °C20 °C to 31 °C20 °C to 29 °C
Clouds: 100 %Clouds: 100 %Clouds: 11 %Clouds: 91 %Clouds: 58 %Clouds: 48 %
0.1 in of rain0.02 in of rainNo PrecipitationNo Precipitation0.15 in of rain0.26 in of rain
Weather information provided by OpenWeatherMap. (CC BY-SA)
Show temperatures in degree

South Africa: Regions

Kruger National Park is part of the holiday destination South Africa. We analyzed the climate for additional regions, in order to provide you with information about the best time to visit and the expected holiday weather:

Kruger National Park: Experiences of our Visitors

There are 7 reviews for Kruger National Park holiday already. Average rating is 4.4 of 5 stars.
  1. Avatar Preview
    Claudia , 51 years old was there in March

    We were there in March.
    A dream holiday – we had great weather
    No rain, just sun.
    Mega wildlife watching. Many beautiful photos. Thank you, my darling, for this great trip.?????

    Weather Rating: 5 stars – Excellent

  2. Avatar Preview
    Jana, 52 years old was there in June

    We spent 1 week in different areas of the KNP. On 3 days the weather was changeable, hardly sun and very windy. Then also the animals are very careful and don’t show up so close. Nevertheless a super great vacation with many animal sightings!
    If possible, then do not stay overnight in the state camps, are not particularly and nevertheless relatively expensive!

    Weather Rating: 3 stars – Mixed

  3. Avatar Preview
    Christiane, 54 years old was there in October

    We were in Kruger from 29.9. to 7.10. and had very pleasant warm weather and mostly sun. It rained only once at night and that was also good because of a bush fire around Shingwedzi Camp. The animal observations were optimal, since the bushes and trees just began to sprout. Best travel time for Krüger from my point of view!

    Weather Rating: 5 stars – Excellent

  4. Avatar Preview
    Jacqueline, 16 years old was there in January

    Hello,
    We only had nice weather in the three days in Kruger.
    At noon it was 49 degrees. That was really hot but we took great animal photos and saw all BIG 5.
    Was a super nice holiday and I would recommend it.

    Weather Rating: 5 stars – Excellent

  5. Avatar Preview
    Moni, 41 years old was there in April

    The weather was much better than expected, but two game drives in the afternoon fell a bit into the water. We were lucky even on these days, among other things hunting lions, but the photos just didn’t turn out so really great. On the other days we had a lot of sun and it stayed dry, therefore overall school grade 2+.

    Weather Rating: 4 stars – Good

  6. Avatar Preview
    Fred, 58 years old was there in January

    we took the risk of visiting the kruger national park and the neighbouring private reserve sabi sand in january and of course we were a little worried about the rain. but as it is sometimes the case with the climate change, not a single drop fell in the whole time, so in 10 days, although nature urgently needed it. the animal sightings were breathtaking, but it became very hot at noon. good that we had a pool at the lodges!

    Weather Rating: 4 stars – Good

  7. Avatar Preview
    Andreas, 45 years old was there in March

    Despite the end of the rainy season we had great conditions. Of course, the vegetation was now lush green and the view (through hedges and bushes) was somewhat restricted in some places, but the colours were breathtaking and we still had extraordinary wildlife observations. We had rain only on one (of eight) days, during the day it was very warm, at night it cooled down pleasantly. Overall perfect for us!

    Weather Rating: 5 stars – Excellent

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Safari Paradise Kruger National Park

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